Homestraight concert shifts venue

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MARGARET.PHILLIPS

@theensign.co.nz

The selling of nearly 4000 tickets to the fundraising Home Straight concert proved too big a stretch for organisers, prompting a move from the Southern Field Days agricentre to the MLT Events Centre.

The move is bringing with it several silver linings – including the support of the Gore District Council, the Mataura Licensing Trust and Strawberry Sound.

The council is waiving the hire fee for the event centre.

The Home Straight Concert, will feature Tami Neilson, Avalanche City and The Feelers, and is to be held on November 26.

The concert had attracted good support from Gore district residents but the plan to sell tickets to outside areas such as Dunedin, Invercargill and Central Otago failed to gain the traction needed.

Kids Hub Charitable Trust member Lisa Sanson said the agricentre was an ideal venue for bigger crowds.

“We thought that we had the acts, and enough public support to sell enought tickets for such a venue, unfortunately we needed bigger a volume of ticket sales over the past month to make it financially viable to proceed at that venue,” Mrs Sanson said.

“We commend the SFD team for showing such vision and commitment to our district in building this amazing asset for our community, they have been excellent to deal with, we would love to see a big concert held there one day,” she said.

The concert is being held to raise funds for the Gore Kids Hub Trust for the completition $370,000 Play Hub. The total cost of the kids hub project is $1.7m.

Rewarded...The women behind the Gore Kid's Hub at the Gore and District Community Awards.
Rewarded…The women behind the Gore Kid’s Hub at the Gore and District Community Awards.

Mrs Sanson said organisers had hoped to fill the Waimumu site which would hold up to 4000 people, while sales had been steady they did not have confidence they would meet the sales target.

“The tickets have been selling steadily and the support from the local community has been incredible, however to reach such a target it was obvious that we would need to attract people from outside oour immediate area,” Mrs Sanson said.

“Despite advertising farther afield such as Milton, Balclutha, Roxburgh, Alexandra and Invercargill areas the ticket sales for outside the local area had not been as favourable as expected,” she said.

But the smaller venue was great option given the expected ticket sales, she said.

“We are grateful for the council staff for working tirelessly to make this change happen at such short notice.”

Because the event centre was smaller it was highly likely the concert would be a sellout, she said.

“Being based in town now there was also the chance of a significant walk up crowd it there was tickets still available on the day.”

Strawberry Sound discounted its fee for the event and the MLT will run the bar.

The council will waive the hire fee for the event centre as its contribution to making this event as successful as possible.

Gore District Mayor Tracy Hicks said the council has been working closely with the organisers.

“We already had a good working relationship when the event was to be at Waimumu,” Mr Hicks said.

“Consequently, when they came to us looking for a smaller venue we were able to quickly bring together a team of staff to work through the logistics of using the event centre,” he said.

While there may be challenges to meet all the regulatory requirements in such a compressed timeframe, it was up to the council to help whenever it can to facilitate a vibrant and energised community.

Parks and Recreation Manager Ian Soper said the event centre hire fee for a non-profit community organisation was $500 a day. Concert organisers have indicated they want the venue for five days, from Wednesday 23 November.

Staff have had a preliminary meeting with the organisers and were waiting on the final event management plan, which will be checked by staff and police, Mr Soper said.

“The event centre is in a residential area so we need to make sure they (the organisers) are doing everything they can to mitigate any impact on the neighbours,” he said.